I know it's been a really long time since I last blogged (January - to be exact) and many of you (or maybe none of you) may be wondering what happened to this little H Face? Well in a nutshell, I left the slums of Slovakia, spent two great months in Italy (near Venice) and then took off for Turkey.
I had a few good beer in Italy (although they were mostly Guinness), I tried a few local craft brews like 32 and they were very good. The best mass-produced beer (in my opinion) was Pedavena. They also serve the draft beer in boot-shaped glasses (you know, Italy is in the shape of a boot, hee hee)
Anyhoo, after Italy, I took off for Turkey, Izmit to be exact. Izmit you say? Yes, Izmit. It is a medium-sized city that's about one hour from Istanbul. The beer selection here is just so-so. There are a couple of decent local beers (Efes and Marmara) but generally the selection here is very limited.
So I was very surprised when a few weeks ago, on a trip to Bostanci (which is an Istanbul suburb), I discovered TAPS, a local microbrewery. Of course I had to go there for lunch and a pint or two! In the picture above you see little me trying a pint of TAPS pilsner which is a classic Czech style Pilsner. It was very good and fresh but a few more hops would have taken it to an excellent rating. I also tried a Vienna style lager which was good too. The best beer on tap that day was their Hefeweizen, a German wheat beer. It was delicious and the perfect beer for a warm summer afternoon! On the way out (a little bit tipsy!) I asked the brew master to take a photo of me in front of one of the fermentors and here it is below.
TAPS rotates their draft selection and because of this I needed to go back a few more times. On subsequent visits, I tried a Rauchbier, another German beer - this one is a smoked beer which is made using malt that is dried using open fires which gives the malt (and the finished brew) a smoky flavour. I really liked this beer. I also tried an Amber Ale and a Golden Ale.
The best part is that you can also buy bottles to take home. TAPS sells their Red Ale and Kolsch in six packs. I guess I should also mention that they serve good food too. However, there's nothing wrong with a liquid lunch!
If this blog sounds like a paid advertisement for TAPS, it isn't. Although it should be. In a huge, world-class city like Istanbul you would think that the beer scene would be at least good. It's not. So when you see a place like TAPS, you really need to sing their praises. Now hopefully with the winter coming, we'll see a dark ale or maybe even a stout! That means it will be time to go back to TAPS. Cheers!